Pictured: Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.), US Sailing Team Sperry
Women’s 470 (Women’s Two-Person Dinghy)
Rio 2016 Olympic Athlete Selection Series, Current Standings:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2016
Palma de Mallorca, Spain – The 2016 470 Class European Championship (April 7-12) have concluded in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, and for the second consecutive year, the US Sailing Team Sperry’s Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.) secured a spot on the podium at this prestigious international event. With the conclusion of the Europeans, which served as the second and final U.S. Olympic Team selection event, McNay and Hughes also confirmed their place on Team USA for Rio 2016.
“We are stoked to walk away with a medal at a major championship,” said Hughes, who won the 2015 edition of the 470 Europeans with McNay. The final day of racing featured a tactically difficult medal race characterized by light wind, which saw several lead changes.
Heading into the race in 3rd overall and close on points to the silver medal spot, McNay and Hughes’ position in the double-points medal race ranged from second at the first mark, to 6th at the second-to-last mark. A final position of 4th place left them tied on points with the reigning World Champions, Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic of Croatia. The American pair won the tiebreaker, and with it the bronze medals of the Open 470 European Championship.
“Our campaign for the Olympics is in a great spot,” said McNay, who will become one of a select few three-time Olympians in August. “The wounds that we had this week were self-inflicted, and we are confident we can improve. To take home our fifth medal of 2016 feels good, and we always enjoy gaining more experience at playing this game.”
So far in 2016, McNay and Hughes have picked up medals at Sailing World Cup Miami (gold), Palma’s Trofeo Princesa Sofia (silver), 470 North Americans (gold), 470 U.S. Nationals (gold) and now 470 Europeans (bronze). The top-performing US Sailing Team Sperry men’s pair may be having a nice run of success of late, but there is little opportunity to rest on one’s laurels at the highest levels of the sport.
“I’m glad we finished out the regatta,” said Barcelona 1992 silver medalist Morgan Reeser (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), who has coached McNay and Hughes since 2013. “Stu and Dave are still just scratching their potential. Whenever they reach that potential, they consistently win races.” McNay and Hughes won three of the event’s twelve races, tying the top Australian team for the most “bullets.”
Picking up gold at the 2016 Men’s 470 Europeans were the multiple World Champions Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan of Australia, with Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion of France taking home silver.
Pictured: Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha, Women’s 470, cross close behind 2016 European Champions Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar of Austria during the medal race.
In the women’s 470 fleet, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) finished in the same position they held prior to the medal race, which was just shy of the podium in 4th place. Haeger and Provancha nearly repeated their bronze medal performance of the 2015 Europeans, and also earned Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team selection in the process.
“I think we handled the pressure well at this event,” said Provancha. “To finish strong here even though it was an Olympic selection event is a big confidence booster as we get closer to Rio. The fleet is at its highest level yet, and the racing is quite difficult.”
Winning the Women’s 470 Europeans were Lara Vadlau and Jolanta Ogar of Austria, with Aphrodite Kyranakou and Anneloes Van Even (The Netherlands) and Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (Brazil) rounding out the podium.
The 470 Class European Championship ran from April 7-12 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. All athletes selected by US Sailing for the Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).
Final USA Results:
Men’s 470: 69 boats
Women’s 470: 57 boats
- 4th overall, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.)
- 54th overall, Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.) (Note: Bolger and Shevitz withdrew from the regatta after race 5)
Note: This year’s Europeans served as the second and final U.S. Olympic Sailing Team selection event in the Men’s and Women’s 470 classes.
Previous Event Reports:
- 470 Europeans Day 6 (Part 1 of 2): McNay and Hughes (Men’s 470) Earn Selection to Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team
- 470 Europeans Day 5: Two American Teams Aiming For Podium
- 470 Europeans Day 4: Haeger and Provancha (Women’s 470) Earn Selection to Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team
- 470 Europeans Day 3: USA Women in 6th, Men in 8th Overall
- 470 Europeans Day 2: Storms Frustrate Racing
- 470 Europeans Day 1: 470 Europeans: USA Top Ten In Men’s & Women’s Fleets
- Women’s 470 Preview: Women’s 470 Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Selection Series To Be Decided in Palma
- Men’s 470 Preview: McNay and Hughes (Men’s 470) Look to Defend European Title in Palma
- 2016 470 Europeans Event Website & Results
- Current Standings, U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Selection Series
- Photos: USA 470 Europeans Gallery
- US Sailing Team Sperry Social Media:
About the US Sailing Team Sperry
The US Sailing Team Sperry is managed by the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for the sport of sailing and sailboat racing. The top boats in each Olympic and Paralympic class are selected annually to be members of the US Sailing Team Sperry. US Sailing helps these elite athletes with financial, logistical, coaching, technical, fitness, marketing and communications support. The title sponsor of the team is Sperry; other sponsors include Gold-Level partner Sunbrella and Silver-Level partners Harken, Team McLube and Groupe Beneteau. Yale Cordage is a team supplier. The US Sailing Center Miami is an Olympic training site. Oakcliff Sailing and Clearwater Community Sailing Center are US Sailing Team Sperry Training Centers. Chubb Personal Insurance and the Gowrie Group sponsors US Sailing’s National Team Tour, a nationwide presentation program for US Sailing Team Sperry athletes. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org/olympics
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org
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Press Contact: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager, US Sailing. email@example.com, +1 (978) 697-2384.
April 10, 2016:
Pictured: Annie Haeger & Briana Provancha, Women’s 470, US Sailing Team Sperry. Photo: Onne van der Wal
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2016
Palma de Mallorca, Spain – Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) have earned selection to the Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team based on the results of the US Sailing Olympic Athlete Selection Series in the women’s two-person dinghy. Winners of the 2015 Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Haeger and Provancha have been the top U.S. athletes in their class for the past three and a half years. This will be the first career Olympic Games appearance for both sailors.
Haeger said that while Rio 2016 qualification was a significant milestone, the journey will only intensify from here to the Games. “Step one is to qualify, step two is to keep the pedal down, and step three is to medal,” said Haeger. “We’re not going to stop here. We have so much work we can do.”
Haeger and Provancha have been dinghy teammates since 2008, and met at the 2007 ISAF Youth World Championship in Kingston, Canada, where both sailors medaled. After distinguished youth sailing careers, both attended Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and formed the core of a highly successful women’s and co-ed sailing program from 2007-2012 under US Sailing National Coach of the Year Greg Wilkinson (Rockport, Mass.).
With Haeger and Provancha on the team, the B.C. Eagles won the Co-ed Intercollegiate Nationals (twice), the Team Race Nationals (twice), the Women’s Nationals (twice), the Sloop Nationals, the Match Racing Nationals, the Single-handed Nationals (three times, all by Haeger), Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year (Haeger), and three ICSA Fowle Trophies, awarded to the best overall college sailing team in the nation.
U.S. Olympic Team Selection: Haeger & Provancha (470W)“This is just step one. We want to put USA on the podium. We want to be singing the star-spagled banner on that day in August.” – Team Haeger/Provancha, newest members of Team USA for Rio 2016
Posted by US Sailing Team Sperry on Sunday, April 10, 2016
During their collegiate careers, Haeger and Provancha began to train in the 470, the two-person Olympic dinghy. Despite considerable success in the one-person Laser Radial as a youth athlete, Haeger opted to pursue a path towards the Olympic Games in a double-handed boat with Provancha, a Youth World Champion, by her side.
The pair graduated from B.C. shortly before the London 2012 Olympic Games, and embarked on a full-time campaign for Rio 2016 as part of the US Sailing Team Sperry (national team). They experienced success quickly, making the podium at their first major international event, the 2013 Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Spain. A year later, Haeger and Provancha joined up with full-time coach and three-time 470 World Champion Dave Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.). Under Ullman’s guidance, the pair have medaled at top-level events around the world, including Sailing World Cup Hyères in France, The Delta Lloyd Regatta in The Netherlands, the 470 North Americans in the United States, and the 470 Europeans in Denmark.
Pictured: Haeger and Provancha training in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Throughout their campaign for Rio, Haeger and Provancha have been notable for their consistency, and have earned top-ten finishes at the majority of their major regattas. This includes two top-ten results at the 470 World Championship within the last three years. The team’s signature win to date was their gold-medal performance at the 2015 Rio Test Event. On the same racecourse that will be used this coming summer, Haeger and Provancha came from behind in the medal race to beat the gold and silver medal-winning Women’s 470 teams from London 2012 Olympics.
In early 2016, Haeger was named US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, given annually to the top female sailor in the United States. This honor was given in recognition of her outstanding Olympic-class racing record with Provancha in 2015.
Pictured: Haeger and Provancha on the podium at the 2015 Rio Olympic Test Event.
US Sailing’s Rio 2016 Selection Series for the Women’s 470 consisted of two high-level international events. The first was the 470 World Championship in San Isidro (February 20-17, 2016), Argentina, in late February 2016. After trailing US Sailing Team Sperry teammates Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.) for much of the regatta, Haeger and Provancha rallied and both American teams qualified for the medal race. Haeger and Provancha were able to rely on their extensive experience in pressurized scenarios, and submitted a strong medal race in Argentina.
Heading into the second selection event, the 470 Class European Championship (April 7-12) in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Haeger and Provancha held a two-point lead in the selection series. Bolger and Shevitz needed to beat Haeger and Provancha by two positions in the regatta to qualify for Team USA. However, strong racing by Haeger and Provancha early in the event produced a 28-point lead over their U.S. teammates after five qualifying-round races. A slower start to the regatta for Bolger and Shevitz, in addition to a protest and disqualification in Race 4 (stemming from a close two-boat maneuver with Haeger and Provancha near a course mark) dropped the Southern California pair to 31st overall, and into silver fleet. This sealed Olympic Team selection for Haeger and Provancha.
With the opening races of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games only a few months away, there is little time for Haeger and Provancha to savor the milestone of earning a place on Team USA. “We hope to enter Rio as a team to beat,” said Provancha. “This is just step one. We want to put USA on the podium. We want to be singing the star spared banner on that day in August.”
April 6, 2016
Palma de Mallorca, Spain – The second and final Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team selection event, the 470 Class European Championship (April 7-12), is set to begin on Thursday in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Two strong US Sailing Team Sperry (national team) women’s boats are in contention for the right to represent the United States in Brazil this August, and the standings are tight heading into the determining regatta.
US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and teammate Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) finished 6th overall at the first selection event, the 2016 470 World Championships (February 20-27) in Argentina, two spots ahead of U.S. 470 North American and National Champions Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.). Bolger and Shevitz will need to beat Haeger and Provancha by two places or more in Palma to earn a place on Team USA.
Haeger and Provancha have been the top-ranked U.S. Women’s 470 team since London 2012, and have consistently performed at the highest levels of international competition under the tutelage of coach Dave Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.), a three-time 470 World Champion. The pair’s signature successes of the Rio 2016 Olympic cycle have come at the 2015 European Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, where they claimed bronze, and at the 2015 Rio Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they won gold.
Haeger and Provancha’s impressive run of international success began at this same venue in Palma in 2013, when they won bronze at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia, their first podium result at a major event. “The fleet here at Europeans will be big, and the level will be very high,” said Provancha, a two-time medalist at the ISAF Youth World Championship. Haeger noted that sticking to their normal routine would be key to performing well over the next six days of racing. “We need to treat this like just another regatta, and rely on each other, as we always have,” said Haeger. “We’re confident in our ourselves, and in our strength as a team.”
WATCH: Annie Haeger & Briana Provancha (Uncharted Waters)
While this event may resemble other major 470 championship regattas, managing the pressure surrounding Rio 2016 selection will be key for the US Sailing Team Sperry athletes. “The Olympic selection series is an exciting time,” said Provancha. “Pressure is part of Olympic sports, but performing at the same level regardless of pressure is the goal. This will be another great test before the Olympics.” Haeger agreed, and said they had been planning for this for four years. “We embrace this environment, and if we can get past this, we’ll be even stronger as a team. We still have a lot to learn.”
Bolger and Shevitz have enjoyed a rapid improvement in their results since the middle of 2015. Their 8th place finish at the Worlds was a career-best, and Bolger described a recent run of strong racing as new phase of their campaign. “A big turning point for us was settling on a primary coach in the middle of 2015, (I420 World Champion and former 470 athlete) Michalis Mileos (Athens, Greece),” said Bolger, the 2012 Quantum Female U.S. College Sailor of the Year for Georgetown University. “Michalis helped us develop a training program that was optimized for our team’s specific needs, and we started improving rapidly. We were really able to start using our preexisting speed, which was good, in a racing setting. We are now keeping our heads ‘out of the boat’ more, while still going fast.”
Bolger said that they are excited to get started with the second Olympic selection event in Palma. “We have a lot of confidence in our abilities, and we know we can have a strong performance at the Europeans. We also feel that we’re a better team now than we were in February at the Worlds.” Shevitz said they know they have improved a great deal since coming together as a team, and are proud of the campaign they’ve undertaken together. “We’re going to go out and just have the best regatta we can,” said Shevitz. “We started this quad relatively late, since we only started full-time as a team after I graduated college in May 2014. We’ve been playing catch-up, but now we can compete with the best.”
The 470 Class European Championship will run from April 7-12 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. All athletes selected by US Sailing for the Rio 2016 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).
Watch: Team Bolger/Shevitz Preparing for the U.S. Olympic Selection Series (Rising Tide)
- 2016 470 Europeans Event Website & Results
- Current Standings, U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Selection Series
- Photos: USA 470 Europeans Gallery
- US Sailing Team Sperry Social Media:
February 27, 2016
Portsmouth, R.I. – The 470 Class World Championship (Feb. 22-27) in San Isidro, Argentina, which serves as the first part of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Selection Series in the 470 class, has come to a close. In the women’s fleet, both US Sailing Team Sperry boats rose to the occasion and submitted career-best Worlds performances. US Sailing Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and teammate Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) took 2nd place in the medal race, lifting them to 6th overall. Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.), who had been the top American team for much of the week, finished just behind in 8th overall.
Heading into the medal race, Haeger and Provancha trailed their U.S. national team teammates Bolger and Shevitz by five points, but leaned on their extensive medal race experience to earn a strong result. “Briana had a great idea of where the line was, and we were able to execute our game plan off the start,” said Haeger. The pair, who won the Rio Olympic Test Event last August, accomplished their twin goals of submitting their best finish yet at a 470 Worlds, as well as emerging as the leaders in the two-regatta U.S. Olympic Selection Series.
Pictured: Provancha (left) and Haeger (right) prep their boat before the medal race in San Isidro. Photo © Matias Capizzano/470 Class
Nevertheless, the five weeks that remain until the 470 Class European Championship in Palma de Mallorca (April 5-12), the second selection event, will be busy. “Right now, our plan is to get back to work,” said Haeger. “We have a lot to do to get ready for not only the 470 Europeans, but also for the whole season coming up. We learned a lot of lessons at this regatta, and are excited to apply them in training”
For 470 North American and U.S. National Champions Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.), this 2016 Worlds is a breakthrough moment. While the southern California team had demonstrated their speed and skill on multiple occasions since forming as a team three years ago, they had yet to perform at an elite level at a World Championship until this week, when it mattered most. “This result absolutely validates the hard work we’ve been putting in,” said Bolger, a Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year. “We know without a couple of costly errors this week, we could have been fighting for a medal today. We have worked really hard, and it’s starting to show in the results, which of course we’re happy about!”
Bolger and Shevitz also plan to put in some hard training days before the 470 Europeans in April. “We’ve put the pedal down, and we have no intention of letting up anytime soon,” said Bolger.
As reported yesterday, the US Sailing Team Sperry Men’s 470 team of Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.), the reigning North American and European Champions, finished 12th overall at the 2016 Worlds, narrowly missing Saturday’s medal race.
Note: All athletes named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC). For more information on the 2016 470 World Championships, visit the event website.
USA Results: 470 World Championship, Final
- 6th overall, 68 points, Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.)
- 8th overall, 63 points, Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
- 12th overall, Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.)
Selection Event #1, 470 World Championships, San Isidro – Event Homepage & Results
The first event for U.S. Olympic Team 470 athlete selection will be the 470 World Championships, San Isidro, Argentina, February 20-27, 2016. The second and final event will be the 470 Europeans, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, April 5-12.
Names to Watch:
- Sydney Bolger (Long Beach, Calif.) and Carly Shevitz (Santa Barbara, Calif., pictured), US Sailing Team Sperry: Bolger and Shevitz recently won the 2016 470 Women’s Nationals and 470 North Americans (top NA female boat). Bolger is a Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year.
- Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.), US Sailing Team Sperry: Haeger and Provancha won the Rio Olympic Test in event in 2015, along with bronze at the 2015 470 Europeans. Haeger was named US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year in 2015, and has previously won Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year. Provancha was a 2007 ISAF Youth World Champion.